Amherst Ballet is a not-for-profit dance school in Amherst, MA, spreading the joy of dance to people of all backgrounds, ages, and body types. We’re fundraising to finish this FY ahead and prepare for the next season.
As the audience applauds and cheers, the tiniest dancers run gracefully onto the stage: seven and eight year olds in a rainbow of flowing fairy costumes. They are followed by ever older and more advanced dancers until the whole cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is assembled, smiling serenely. Their bow is controlled, coordinated, even elegant. Graceful arms gesture as one in gratitude towards musicians, stage crew, and the choreographer. As a group, the dancers take a step back and in a sweep of red velvet, the curtain closes.
Most audience members, as the house applause dies down and they begin to gather belongings, don’t know what happens at an Amherst Ballet production after the curtain goes down. The dancers don’t start by clearing the stage or chatting with friends, critiquing their performances or rubbing sore muscles. The very first thing these poised and serious dancers do is cheer, shout, and jump with glee, reaching to hug whomever happens to be standing nearest them. In so many ways, they celebrate one another as artists, as students, and as role models. It’s not just the emphasis on solid technique; the hours and weeks and late nights of focused work; learning to put your hair up and apply stage make-up; respecting and nurturing your athlete’s body - what it means to dance at Amherst Ballet is to be part of a community of dancers spanning generations, lifting each other up.
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